Belgium – FEB Foreign Investments Screening

Belgium – FEB Foreign Investments Screening

On 9 June 2022, BEL FEB announced screening mechanism has been agreed.

  • BEL FEB announced screening mechanism for foreign investments has been agreed.
  • After over 3 years of negotiations, federated entities and federal government finally agreed on draft cooperation agreement for mechanism to screen foreign investments.
  • Follows EC May 2019 issued update on actions against hybrid threats.


  • In principle aims to set by 1 January 2023 a mechanism to safeguard national security, public order, strategic interests of all entities concerned (regions, communities, state).
  • Interfederal Filtering Committee (CFI) created, made up of representatives of various public services, president delegated by FPS where the secretariat will also be located.
  • Certain investments will therefore have to be notified if they may have an impact on security, public order or strategic interests and if there is a lasting direct relationship.
  • Relationship between foreign investor and company or entrepreneur; the draft text clarifies what can be considered such an investment; further details on this provided.
  • During the procedure, investment is therefore temporarily put on hold; if indications of a possible risk, a screening procedure is then launched.
  • After examination, the investment can then be either authorized, admitted with corrective measures or rejected; CFI can also impose fines if investor ignores points.
  • In addition, in certain cases, CFI may also open an investigation on its own initiative.


  • Reflection began post EC proposal for framework to screen foreign direct investments.
  • Reg certain principles to ensure legal certainty in Member States that use mechanism.
  • Further, intention is also to cooperate more with EC, other Member States in this area.
  • At Belgian level, however, process was very difficult as there were many discrepancies.
  • So the process took longer than initially expected; in addition, the process is not yet complete since the proposal in agreement must still be analyzed by Council of State.
  • Then subject to 2nd reading in consultation committee; text as agreed Jun. 1 not yet final but can be submitted to parliaments pre-31 December 2022, effective on 1 January 2023.

Impact on Country's Attractiveness

  • BEL FEB, together with VOKA, UWE, BECI, always defended certain principles so that the mechanism does not harm Belgium's attractiveness as an investment country.
  • It agrees with a single, interfederal system, to avoid fragmentation and not to discourage investors through screening carried out by different bodies.
  • In effective establishment of new mechanism, efficiency, predictability must be basic.
  • Reasonable deadlines to examine applications must be set so that Belgium remains attractive and competitive in relation to neighboring countries.
  • Also crucial this future mechanism offers all the guarantees in terms of legal certainty, both for Belgian companies and their foreign investor partners.
  • In addition, important to set up sustained dialogue between the authorities involved in screening mechanism and private sector, mainly re future technological developments.